November 30, 2016

Transatlantic Obsolescence; Electronica 2016, DMSMS and Converge – The Future of Obsolescence Management

Every other year, Munich plays host to the world’s largest electronics fair. Over 70,000 visitors and almost 3,000 exhibitors gather for a week in November to share new technologies, meet with customers and clients, and work on best practice and ideas sharing. At electronica 2016, the Converge team met with over 100 customers at our stand and many more out in the myriad halls throughout the event. Overall, the tone of the conversations was positive and shared a single underlying theme – in an uncertain time in the industry, having reliable and secure partnerships with certified, qualified and experienced partners is a key pillar of long-term supportability and successful industry presence…regardless of your end customer.

One question we were continually asked centred on what effects we’re seeing in the wider electronic components supply chain on obsolescence caused by manufacturer acquisitions and consolidations. The effects and our position depend entirely on our perception of how vital these manufacturers are to our supply chain.

At Converge, we work to understand the unique position each of our customers occupies. To do this we need to listen, to learn and to offer relevant solutions to their current needs. It pays to think differently about the suppliers we choose to rely upon…it also helps if we understand game theory (in short, game theory is the study of how and why people make decisions). Consider whether an organisation you trust in your supply chain is trying to ‘win’ or trying to change a paradigm – there is a distinct advantage to following the former if you need the latest cutting-edge technology and the lowest price, but if you’re considering long-term support, where should you put your faith?

Unfortunately, nobody has the ability to wind back the clock and make better-informed decisions about the kit that they now need to support for the next 30 years. It’s a little late for that! So while Converge, and our amazing Field Application Engineering (FAE) division in our parent company, can help with future applications at an early stage, today most engineers are concerned with where they’re going to get obsolete parts to support their product.

This was a topic I covered in a short, 30-minute talk at the ICC Media Embedded Forum at electronica – the balance between understanding where your internal information and data lie in the relevance spectrum when compared against open market contextual information. This talk explored how much control a company can exert in their supply chain when able to fully visualise wider, marketplace data in the context of their application. I’ll share the recording in a future post.

With that dichotomy in mind – the immediate against the potential risk – the Converge team travels to Denver the week of 28th November to the DMSMS (Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages) event to meet with and help high-reliability, military and aerospace companies address their pressing obsolescence and supply chain issues.

If you’re in Denver and planning to attend the show, please come and talk to us. My American counterpart, Bill Fliegel, has extensive experience within the military and aerospace industry, and we’d be more than happy to learn more about your current supply chain and electronic component challenges. We’ll be at booth #908. Come join our obsolescence community!

Keep innovating!

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